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Friday, August 27, 2010

Cambodian King receives President Triet in Phnom Penh

King Norodom Sihamoni has described President Nguyen Minh Triet’s current visit to Cambodia as an historical event, which he said will help bring fresh impetus to the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

At a reception in Phnom Penh on August 27, King Sihamoni thanked the Vietnamese leaders and people for providing heartfelt support and valuable assistance to Cambodia in the past as well as in its national development at present.

He also thanked them for warmly receiving Father King Norodom Sihanouk and his wife Norodom Moninieth Sihanouk during their visit to Vietnam in June 2010.

The King expressed his admiration for Vietnam’s tremendous achievements in its Renewal process and its rising profile in the region and the world.

Vietnamese people are reliable friends of Cambodian people, said King Sihamoni.

He affirmed that Cambodia will continue to build up the long-lasting and neighbourly friendship and comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam.

President Triet praised Cambodia’s position in the world and expressed his belief that under the reign of King Sihamoni and the leadership from the Royal Government, Cambodia will obtain greater achievements in national construction for the sake of peace, development and prosperity.

He valued Cambodia’s support to Vietnam in the past struggle for national liberation and the current process of Renewal. He thanked the King, the government and people of Cambodia for creating conditions for the Vietnamese community to live and study in the country, contributing to its development and to cementing the friendship between the two nations.

Vietnam attaches great importance to and will do its utmost to strengthen the traditional friendship and all-round cooperation with Cambodia, said Mr Triet.

Both host and guest agreed that Vietnam and Cambodia should maintain high-level visit exchanges to facilitate the expansion of their multifaceted cooperation. They also acknowledged their governments’ effort in implementing signed agreements effectively.
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Grant from UN-run fund enables Cambodian village to reap ecotourism benefits

Funds from a global environment grants scheme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will enable an indigenous community in one of Cambodia's poorest provinces to build an ecotourism project at a lake recently returned to them from private ownership.


Funds from a global environment grants scheme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will enable an indigenous community in one of Cambodia's poorest provinces to build an ecotourism project at a lake recently returned to them from private ownership.

The mostly indigenous ethnic Kuoy residents of Romchek village in northeast Preah Vihear province are to receive a share of almost $20,000 in grant money from the Global Environment Facility"s (GEF) Small Grants Programme, according to a press release issued today by UNDP.

They will invest the money in environmentally sensitive visitor sites in the pristine forestland around the Choam Prei lake.

The lake, used by the Kuoy as a cattle-grazing site and as a water and food source, was returned to the 213 families of Romchek from private ownership this year after a process that involved the local, provincial and central Government.

A plan to develop the 70-acre lake into a site for hosting tourists was approved in June by GEF"s Small Grants Programme.

"The site has a lot of potential for the entire village," said Ly Setha, a project officer for a provincial civil society organization, Ponlok Khmer, that will channel funds from the small grant into eco-tourism projects for the area.

"Villagers hope there will be a spill-over from the tourists coming every year that will allow them to earn income by selling local products, and that will help them improve their livelihoods," said Mr. Setha.

The two-year project aims to accommodate tourists to carry out conservation-related research, or to experience the wild animals and plant life around the lake. Activities include production of publicity material, building campsites, and training community members to become tour guides.

Ponlok Khmer was already running a programme that employed villagers to repair the lake"s drainage and water level and to improve it as a fish spawning ground.

Before January, the lake had been part of a fish-farming enterprise run by the family of a local entrepreneur, who was given permission by a village chief in 1998 to use the area for private business.

Villagers accused him of blocking public access to Choam Prei. They collected 86 thumbprints to file a petition through their local government office.

The head of Romney commune took up the case in 2008 and raised its profile through a nationwide local government-association. The association, the National League of Commune/Sangkat, receives technical and financial support from UNDP as part of a project for democratic reforms at the local level.

Source: UN News

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A Runners Quest Comes Full Circle With 10K Raised for Cambodia Students


Journeys Within
CONTACT: Andrea Ross
TEL: 877 454 3672
Click Here for Media Kit

SIEM REAP, Cambodia--Jane Price first traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2007 and participated in the Angkor Wat half marathon. On September 5th 2010 Price will run an ultra marathon and has raised over $10,000 for Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC), the organization in Cambodia that she visited back in 2007.

Jane's history with Cambodia started in 2007 when she stayed at Journeys Within B&B and was introduced to Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC), a non-profit organization founded by Journeys Within tour company owners Brandon and Andrea Ross. To help support the organization she sponsored a JWOC Scholarship Student. This JWOC program gives in-need and deserving students a four year university education in Cambodia. The students in return volunteer 5 to 10 hours a week on various JWOC projects, allowing the projects to run and giving the students valuable experience. After corresponding with her student for three years, Jane returned to Cambodia in 2010 and volunteered for a month at JWOC. Upon returning home she signed up for her first ultra marathon which was a 50k run through the Sierra Nevada foothills. As if this goal wasn't big enough, Price decided to fundraise for JWOC and the Scholarship program.

"I strongly believe in the role of education in making a long term impact to improve the lives of students and their communities. From a personal standpoint I know firsthand the impact a scholarship can have on one's life as I was the beneficiary of scholarships and grants when I was a university student. These generous gifts allowed me to further my education and improve my life in profound ways," said Jane.

Jane sent emails to friends and family and told of her experiences with JWOC. She posted her story and her quest on the JWOC website so others could be inspired by her goal. With the race a week away, Price has reached her goal of raising $10,000 to donate to JWOC, and she can now proudly say that five new students will be able to start attending university in the fall thanks to her efforts.

"We really depend on travelers and guests being inspired by what we're doing. Our hope is that they go home and inspire others,” said Andrea Ross, Journeys Within Tour Company and JWOC founder. "I love that Jane just came to Cambodia for the weekend the first time, to run a marathon no less, and now she's combined her amazing love and ability to run with her passion and enthusiasm for what we're doing in Cambodia. It truly is supporters like this that make our projects possible. The best part is that five students now have a completely different future because of Jane's commitment!"

With the fundraising behind her, Price now has the hurdle of that ultra marathon to get through. The race, Run on the Sly, will be 50 kilometers, and will take place on September 5th in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at an altitude of 3,800 feet, featuring a hilly course covering mountain trails and fire roads.

"I love running for so many reasons: being in nature, setting and achieving goals, stress reduction, and being able to eat pretty much whatever I want and now it also provides me a platform to help others," said Price.

About Journeys Within Our Community
JWOC was founded by Brandon and Andrea Ross, owners of Journeys Within Tour Company in response to guests and travelers desire to give back and make a difference. JWOC believes in its slogan, “See a Problem, Solve a Problem” and has been doing that for the last five years. More information can be found and donations can be made at or you can contact Andrea at
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Diversity spotlight: Thida Kol’s had a real impact on the Cambodian community

By Steph McKenna
JOurnal staff writer

Twenty-two years ago when Thida Kol, 56, began working as a secretary at the Socio Economic Development Center for Southeast Asians in Providence, she had no idea that she would have an enormous impact on the Cambodian community.

But she became the go-to person, the community’s rock who can be counted on in a moment’s notice, in all situations.

“She has a huge heart,” says Anthony Layton, associate director of SEDC. “She is an inspiration to all of us.”

As a Cambodian caseworker, Thida helps elderly clients find housing. In cases where an elderly person is alone, she tries to find another person in similar circumstances so they can share an apartment.

“I find them a place and then find household goods they need,” she says.

“I try to do the best I can to help people in the community who need services.”

Immigrants and refugees need to apply for green cards and talk to immigration lawyers. Thida accompanies them, serves as translator and helps fill out forms.

She takes clients to medical appointments and is the link between doctor and patient.

“SEDC is the only place they trust,” she says, “especially clients who are here alone.”

Thirty years ago, Thida, her husband and three small stepchildren fled Cambodia and the terror of the Khmer Rouge regime.

“They killed my father. My mom died of starvation.”

The family lived for several months in Khao I Dang, a refugee camp along the Cambodian-Thai border, before leaving for Rhode Island where they settled with help from the International Institute of Rhode Island.

Thida enrolled in a program at the Community College of Rhode Island and eventually worked as a licensed practical nurse at St. Joseph Hospital. But when she heard from a friend that SEDC was looking for a Cambodian worker, she applied for the job.

One of the few Cambodian community members who had been educated in Khmer, Thida is often asked to do written translations. “I’m the oldest in this office and they ask me first,” she says. “I went to school and know the Khmer language. Some others who are younger did not have the chance to learn because the Khmer Rouge closed the schools.”

“People who came 20 years ago and still don’t speak English rely on SEDC.” She says some don’t even trust their own children to translate official letters, fearing that they will make a mistake that could result in problems.”

There are Meals on Wheels lunches three times a week at SEDC. Thida says that before the meal clients stop by her office with letters to translate, or to ask her to make phone calls.

“Most of my clients know my cell phone number. They can call me anytime.”

And they do call. It could be an emergency situation or just a lonely person who needs to talk.

“If I’m helping people, I feel good. They treat me like I’m their family. They are like my family.”
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